Lawson Station is Just Like Home for Japanese Visitors

Lawson, Japan’s second largest convenience store chain, has four stores on Oahu and more coming.

Photo: Mary Pigao

When asked who was the competition for his Waikiki convenience stores, ABC Stores CEO Paul Kosasa put Lawson Station at the top of his list.

Photo: Mary Pigao

Lawson, the second-largest convenience store operator in Japan, opened its first Hawaii location at the Sheraton Waikiki a year ago and now has two other Waikiki stores and one near Ala Moana Center. Sixty percent of its customers are Japanese, according to manager Koushirou Honma, who came to Hawaii to manage the stores. “(Our Japanese customers) say Hawaii is a beautiful place, but everything is so expensive,” says Honma, including the imported Japanese products sold at his store.

He says Japanese visitors buy familiar items such as Japanese food and sundries even though they can cost twice as much as at home. He says business is growing and a fifth store will open in Waikiki this year.

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Hawaii Business,January